Requirements – What do You Need to Start Mining Litecoin Today?
Mining can be resource-intensive and as such, you might do well to gather all the information you need before you start mining Litecoin. This will include things like what hardware is best for LTC mining, the software to choose, or what technical terms to get a grip on as you start. Get all these details and more below.
Popular Hardware and Mining Rigs for Litecoin
If you are going to mine Litecoin profitably in 2021, then you need the right hardware equipment. Initially, it was possible to do LTC mining just with your CPU (Central Processing Unit), and then it was the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit).
Things have changed though and today if you want to make money mining then the game-changer is the ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit). This mining hardware tool is now the most popular in Litecoin mining, and rightly so: it’s purpose-built for mining and comes with incredible computational power and efficiency. The only problem you are likely to encounter is that while some hardware devices are moderately priced, many command top-tier prices.
There are several top ASIC rigs in the market you can choose from, with the ASIC miner you pick likely to depend on three factors:
Hash Rate: You need to check on the output of hashes per second for the device. The more power it packs the higher its success rate is likely to be. Check on efficiency as that relates to output versus energy consumption.
Price: ASIC miners are priced variously, and how much a device cost reflects mining capability and electricity use. Keep this in mind as you look to invest in a Litecoin ASIC miner.
Electricity: one of the considerations is to have a model that does not need too much power. For example, getting a low-power ASIC model means you can minimise electricity while maximising the ROI.
Efficiency: This is a key consideration as a highly efficient ASIC means it can solve complex puzzles much faster and at a low cost in terms of electricity. The best ASICs for LTC mining are therefore those with the highest efficiency rates.
With the above information at hand, here are three of the most popular and efficient ASICs for Litecoin mining:
1. Innosilicon A6+ LTCMaster
This is yet another top ASIC model for Litecoin mining. The A6+ LTCMaster is a hardware mining machine developed by Innosilicon and supports Litecoin’s Scrypt algorithm. The 2019 model comes with an output of 2.2Gh/s in hash rate, with power consumption at 2100W and efficiency of 0.955j/Mh. The A6+ is quite pricey—it costs $1500 but comes with a PSU. Electricity cost is pegged at 0.12/kWh.
A6+ LTCMaster: Source: Innosilicon
If you are joining a pool, then A6+ LTCMaster supports top mining pools such as Poolin, Antpool, and Litecoinpool. What’s more, you can also use this device to mine other cryptocurrencies, including Dogecoin (DOGE).
2. Antminer L3+
If you are looking for an efficient and proven LTC ASIC miner, then you might want to check out the Antminer L3+. Designed by Bitmain and released in 2017, the L3+ is one of the most powerful ASIC miners for Litecoin. This hardware machine packs 504MH/s of hash rate out of the box.
The Antminer L3+ has an easy-to-use interface that allows you to easily add your wallet address and configure your mining pool settings. You can also customise some settings or quickly upgrade to the latest firmware releases.
Antminer L3+: Source: Bitmain
Its modest price of $289 makes it affordable, similarly to the 2018 model Antminer L3++ that sports 580MH/s and has 4 chipboards and 288 chips.
The BW-L21 is another popular Litecoin ASIC miner manufactured by BW.com and released in January 2018. It has a hash rate of 550 MH/s, power consumption of 950W, and boasts a power efficiency of 1.727 J / MH/s. The ASIC type chip is a 28nm design, with each unit packs 144 chips and 4 hash boards.
BW-L21: Source: ASICMiner Value
The L21 is one of the easiest ASIC miners to set up, only that you would need access to a PC to complete the setup. After that, the machine will run automatically. The unit sold at $2500 out of the box, although you can get it as low as $300 from a reseller point.
You now have the hardware part checked out. What next? You are about to start mining, and that means checking out the Litecoin mining software aspect.
If your hardware mining equipment is an ASIC miner, you are likely to find the mining software pre-installed in the device. However, if you are planning on mining Litecoin using a graphics card (GPU mining), you will have to find and install the necessary software.
The first thing to do is research whatever options are available in the market, bearing in mind your hardware. Once you select one, download and install it to begin mining.
You can choose to get a desktop or mobile version, with the latter an app you can download and use on your PC. Some software products support mobile use and are available for Android and iOS devices. The thing to remember is that the mining software is what allows you to connect your wallet and mining pool to receive the block rewards. So as you select one option over another, ensure you only download software from reputable vendors or websites.
Which software people use to mine Litecoin
There are several mining softwares available for LTC and thus you might need to choose one based on your hardware and specific needs. However, here are the top 3 Litecoin mining software for ASIC mining today:
EasyMiner is an open-source mining software that supports Litecoin ASIC mining and works with minerd, cudaminer, cgminer, and ccminer. You can use Easyminer to connect to the stratum pool or go “solo” mode which allows you to choose your preferred mining pool.
Other than Windows, EasyMiner also supports Android devices and is seen as the best miner app for Litecoin.
CGMiner is one of the best Litecoin mining software that is available across platforms- Windows, Mac, Linux. The application supports pool mining and offers command-line access. You can handle aspects like monitoring mining machines for speed and temperature.
Awesome Miner is the software you need if you plan to run multiple mining rigs. It supports over 50 mining engines, including cgminer, bfgminer, xmrig, and sgminer. The software offers access to a robust centralised mining experience, with support for Litecoin mining as well as SHA-256 among other algorithms. It is preferred over other mining software because you can monitor mining operations, check status and temperature right from the dashboard.
Can I Use my Personal Computer to Mine Litecoin?
You could, technically. However, that would be an exercise in futility as you are likely never going to make any progress let alone earn anything worthwhile from it. This is because costs in electricity alone would be so prohibitive it would be worthless to do so. The other basic explanation for this is that Litecoin mining, though initially possible on CPUs, has become so complex and expensive that a personal computer just can’t cut it anymore.
The introduction of ASIC miners changed the playing field, tilting it towards big mining farms as computational needs rose. Today, instead of a PC, the best chance you have of mining Litecoin is to get a mining rig and join a mining pool.
Technical Knowledge Required to Mine Litecoin
Here are a few technical terms you might need to know as you start to mine Litecoin.
- Mining rig: A hardware device or computer purpose-built for cryptocurrency mining.
- Block: A unit of the blockchain that includes a batch of verified transactions. When a miner finds a valid block, it is distributed or broadcast to the rest of the network and added to the larger chain for an immutable record.
- Block reward: This is the reward miners get in a Proof of Work network. It contains the newly minted coins (mining subsidy) and any attached transaction fees. Currently, Litecoin’s block reward is 12.5 LTC.
- Hash: A hash is a function that takes any data and transforms it into a fixed output size. This output cannot easily be arrived at in reverse and thus highly secure.
- Hash rate: These are the hashes a miner can output per second, which is how much computing power a miner packs. The higher the hashes per second, the more powerful the Litecoin miner is.
- Mining fees: These are the network fees users pay to have their transactions added to a proposed block to be verified. Miners get mining or transaction fees as part of the block reward.
- Mining profitability: Profitability refers to returns from mining. It is calculated using hash rate, energy consumption, electricity (in kW/h) and Litecoin price. The returns are calculated on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis and tell you how much money you can make based on the rate of reward.
Joining a Litecoin Mining Pool
Joining a mining pool is one of the steps that new miners take to increase their chances of becoming profitable in their operations.
A mining pool is a collection of miners who join up and form one entity. Together they “pool” their processing power to mine the cryptocurrency under an agreed framework of sharing the reward once they mine a new block.
This is how a new miner who might not have a chance competing against the larger mining farms can earn a share of the block reward and potentially go on to break even and become profitable. When looking to select a mining pool, there are a few considerations to put in mind as these can greatly impact how you benefit from the pool.
- Find out if the mining pool supports the hardware you intend to use. You are likely to learn that most pools support ASICs and not GPU Litecoin mining.
- How much is the fee? This is a critical consideration as fees can be anywhere from 0% to 3%, with some pools charging more.
- Security. It’s important to establish how secure the pool is, including how it safeguards against potential DDoS attacks.
- Payment threshold. What’s the minimum contribution in terms of computing power and what is the minimum payout?
Cloud mining pools are another possible avenue to start mining Litecoin. These do not require you to set up hardware but allow you to rent a hash rate at a set fee and use it to mine.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a Litecoin mining pool?
- Fewer costs involved (no hardware, electricity, and maintenance).
- No time needed to monitor equipment.
- Faster in terms of starting to mine LTC.
- You earn depending on what you invest.
- Risk of scams.
- Profits can be too small as the pool can have too many miners sharing the reward.